Thursday, January 17, 2013
live the dream
Nothing to eat in this post. Sorry. Plenty of food for thought though :)
I am veering off topic today to share my excitement about having a story published in this month's edition of Australian Yoga Journal (out now in newsagents). On page 36 you will find 'Light after Loss' a story written by me about the healing power of yoga during times of grief.
I am SO excited to have this story published because it is one that is close to my heart and one that I have been wanting to write for oh 12 years! I am very thankful to editor Molly Furzer for being so receptive to this story and presenting it in the way that she has which is so true to the story I wanted to tell.
In this post the story I want to tell is to encourage anyone reading this, if you are holding a secret desire or dream to write or paint or draw or sing or photograph or change jobs or lose weight or have a conversation you know you should have, whatever your dream may be - to go forward in any way you can and live what is in your heart.
I consider myself so blessed to not only have found writing as my way of making sense of the world but also to have admitted to myself that writing is the way I want to earn my living and then to have taken the steps to make that happen. Sure the steps are not always clear and not without bumps in the road but to live life wondering and wishing is not an easy path either.
My path to having this story published began with reading Allison Tait's posts about pitching stories and making a living freelance writing. I enjoy Allison's blog and value her posts on writing immeasurably, to anyone wanting to follow the writing path I highly recommend reading Allison's posts about writing.
After reading Allison's posts I realised I had been hiding in my food niche, hanging out in my comfort zone doing the work that came my way easily. So with the knowledge that even an experienced long time freelancer like Allison still deals with rejection, a well of courage and inspiration opened up within me and I pitched my idea to Molly, an editor I had never had any contact with before.
Two weeks later I was checking my emails and to my delight there was a reply from Molly commissioning me to write the story. I don't intend to 'make it sound so easy' because it isn't always, as Allison writes in her post rejection of ideas is a big part of the job when you are freelancing however the key is not to give up. You may rest my friends, but never give up.
Here are 12 of my humble thoughts on making dreams come true:
1. Read Shakti Gawain's book 'Creative Visualisation'. I read this book when I was 14 and practicing what was in the pages taught me at a young age the power of the mind and the magic of the universe.
Here we are 24 years after I first read the book and it is now available in digital and audio form.
2. To quote Goethe - 'Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.' And don't think that boldness has to be a giant step, boldness may be writing your idea down or telling a friend. It is the beginning, the action, the doing that is important.
3. Learn what you need to learn to go where you want to go. Learn online, find books at the library, talk to people who are already doing what you want to do, sign up for a course.
4. Remember and honor the seasons of life. This is paramount for us mamas. Consider the season you are in and remember the seasons change, keep your expectations in check relevant to the season you are in. If you have a newborn, two children under three, have children starting school, are recently divorced, are moving house, are recovering from illness, then remember to be kind and gentle to yourself. Your dream will not fade. After the birth of my first son River as blissed as I was about becoming a mother I was feeling anxious that my writing life would slip away. A wise friend and mother of 3 said to me 'Enjoy this time, it will enrich you and your writing in ways you can't know yet'. I relaxed on hearing her words and she was right.
5. Keep your eyes on your own dream not on someone else's. Comparison can feed self-doubt which we are all susceptible to. You are your own perfect you and they are their own perfect them.
6. On your road you will inevitably meet critics, knockers, rotten tomato chuckers and naysayers. Think of them as a prickle in your barefoot, pluck them out toss them aside and keep on walking. Don't look back. Oh and say a quiet thank you to them for reminding you how important your dream is to you.
7. Ask for help. This has been a VERY difficult one for me. For many years I tried to do everything myself, asking for help in my mind equated to burdening people or inconveniencing them. I am much better at this and my life is better for it. Giving and receiving is the balance, if you have always been a giver it is time to do some receiving.
8. Share what you know. As you progress along the path and learn some things and have some successes you will meet people at the start of their path, it is a great feeling to encourage them even just listening to where they are at can be incredibly helpful.
9. Aim for progress not perfection. Perfection can be crippling. You must make progress first and then refine what you have done. You can't edit a blank page.
10. Rest but don't give up. Some days the road will seem long, don't chuck the teatowel in. Make a cup of tea instead, put your feet up, phone a friend. When the words aren't flowing for me taking a walk is the best remedy.
11. Make it happen. Ever see those bumper stickers written in rainbow colours with the words 'Magic Happens'? I always think they need a tagline underneath 'if you make it happen'. I believe in magic truly I do, but the dream won't happen without action to match it. Baby steps are fine, but whiling away the precious hours on social media, watching tv etc; do not helpeth to maketh thy dreams come true.
12. Celebrate your successes. Whether you have just spoken your dream out loud for the first time or landed your first big gig - celebrate. Give yourself credit and give thanks to those around you who supported you to make it happen.
Go for it! xx